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Urinary Disorders

High WBC in urine but negative urine culture

12/29/2008

Question:

My husband had a kidney infection five weeks ago and since then it has been noted that he has high WBC in his urine at three follow-up urine cultures, which were all negative. He has absolutely no symptoms excpet that the area of his kidney sometimes has very dull discomfort. He has been treated with two different antibiotics to make sure the kidney infection is gone but the high WBC remains. He is now being referred to a urologist. We also found out a few months ago that he has Crohn`s disease and is treated for that. He is 39, 175 lbs, very active. What could be the cause of the high WBC?

Answer:

WBCs in the urine can represent infection. Urine culture is more definitive to diagnose infections. I agree with referral to a urologist who can determine if additional cultures or imagining studies are warranted.

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Response by:

Donald R Bodner, MD Donald R Bodner, MD
Professor of Urology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University